Trafal. Algarve. 25 March 2019

Vale. #73

 Up in the umbrella pine canopy, the harsh alarm call of Jay alerts as to my presence. Repeated from futher trees as it maintains distance and a watchful eye.

 Detritus of dry understorey, lifted by Blackbird and mimicked by Crested Lark. Resting in dappled glades before scattering through to marshland.

 Hanging from gently wafting reed stems, Penduline Tit slowly move through the blanket in synchronised bounds. 'Bandit' mask giving form against cryptic surroundings.

 Water gives way to wild flower carpet. Insects abound as scent fills the trapped air. Air not released until soil gives way to baking, sterile, golden sand.

 As the sun starts to set, passing Sandwich Tern plunge into rolling surf. Opportunist 'Stuka' dive bombers, taking advantage of fry driven into the shallows by unseen predatory assassins..

Fonte da Benémola. Algarve. 12 March 2019

Calm. #72

 Valley of searing heat to a cooling 'otherworld'. A life-giving thread that runs from underground to air. 

 External harsh rattling of Sardinian Warbler resounds from impenetrable Mediterranean scrub of steep arid land.

 'Cassette reels' of Serin lift the eye. Quick, acrobatic flight visible in and around this trickling corridor.

 Crested Tit pick through the canopy. So isolated at 'home', yet so numerous here as to be dizzying.

 Sliding from the bank to safety; an all too fleeting glimpse of otter disappears into a luxuriant, all enveloping cocoon.

 Evening cools. High on inaccessible buttresses, the booming 'oo-hu' song of Eagle Owl betrays their presence.

 Darkness envelops. The oppression lifts and the valley breathes once more. With it; the rhymic, deafening, sound of cicada fills the air...

Praia da Bosa do Rio. Agarve. 3 March 2019

Wetlands. #71

 Jangling call of Corn Bunting resounds along the entire valley floor. Seemingly every stick-thin dead twig a vantage point.

 Common Sandpiper walks the waters edge. Constant comical bobbing before being 'flushed' into airborne laboured escape.

 Wide circlular flight and constant 'dzip, dzip dzip' of Zitting Cisticola. Ever present sound, high above the scene.

 Passing between beach boulder and marsh, Black Redstart fly into soft rush and safety. All rufous tail blur and silent determination.

 Perched high in inaccessible places, Rock Dove 'coo' incessantly. Still pure of breed, due to remoteness and niche dominance.

Little Egret walk and wade, occasionally showing 'marigold-glove' feet. Arching necks show success as the prize is instantly swallowed.

 In contrast Grey Heron stand 'statue like', menacing and malevolent, a trap to be triggered. And they wait...

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